- With Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.James Li, M.D.
"People with allergy or asthma can lead full and healthy lives." — Dr. James Li
Dr. James Li is chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist. He hopes his expertise and the information on the site educates health care consumers in an area of rapid change both in medications and diagnoses.
"There are a lot of misperceptions about allergy and asthma," says Dr. Li, a New York City native who has been with Mayo since 1985 and works with a group of subspecialists in allergy, asthma and immunology. "I believe it's important to provide truthful, accurate information about allergy and asthma to the public. The more people know, the better they can take care of these conditions."
Dr. Li is a professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He's a past director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He's a fellow in the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology with its Special Recognition Award.
Treatments and drugs (2)
- Nasal spray addiction: Is it real?
- Acute sinusitis: Do over-the-counter treatments help?
Alternative medicine (1)
- Oil of oregano: Can it treat sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis: Do over-the-counter treatments help?
I have acute sinusitis, and my doctor doesn't think I need antibiotics. Are there nonprescription medications that can help relieve symptoms?
from James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Yes. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and decongestants may help relieve facial pain and sinus congestion associated with acute sinusitis.
OTC medications that may help include:
- Decongestants. These work by narrowing blood vessels to help reduce inflammation and swelling that cause sinus congestion. Such OTC medications (Sudafed, Actifed, others) are available in liquids, tablets and nasal sprays.
- Pain relievers. Pain caused by pressure buildup in the sinus cavities may be relieved by aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).
Other home remedies you may want to try:
- Inhale warm water vapor. Drape a towel over your head as you breathe in the moist air from a bowl of warm or moderately hot water. Or take a hot shower, breathing in the warm, moist air.
- Apply warm compresses. Place warm, damp towels around your nose, cheeks and eyes to ease facial pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Consuming additional fluids helps dilute mucous secretions and promotes drainage.
- Use a saline nasal spray. Spray a saline solution in your nose several times a day to relieve congestion.
Most people with acute sinusitis get better without antibiotics. However, if your symptoms are severe or last longer than a few days, talk to your doctor.Next question
Oil of oregano: Can it treat sinusitis?
- Leung RS, et al. The diagnosis and management of acute and chronic sinusitis. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2008;35:11.
- Torpy JM, et al. Acute sinusitis. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;301:1844.
- Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
- Sinusitis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/treatment.aspx. Accessed Nov. 17, 2011.